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The Institutional Office of the North-West University


On 1 January 2004 the former University of the North West (UNW) and the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PU for CHE) were merged to form a new institution called the North-West University (NWU). In this merger the former Sebokeng Campus of the Vista University were incorporated.

This merger proved to be of symbolic significance to the higher education sector and our country. It also proved to be a huge success as after only one year, the Innovation Fund of the Department of Science and Technology awarded the University as the most progressive technologicaly innovative university in South Africa

The North-West University is a unitary, multi-campus institution with campuses spread across two provinces, i.e. the North-West and Gauteng. In line with this unity, it has a single set of policies, systems and standards, as well as one Council, one Chancellor, one Vice-Chancellor, one Senate and one Institutional Forum.
The campuses in Mafikeng (with its satellite site in Mankwe), Potchefstroom and the Vanderbijlpark operate as business units with specific programmes. The geographical spread of the physical campuses and various other off-campus learning modes make learning accessible to many prospective students.

The campuses are supported by a head office and institutional management. The institutional management consists of:


Dr Theuns Eloff


Dr Ngoato Takalo

Campus Rector Mafikeng

Dr Dan Kgwadi

Campus Rector Potchefstroom

Prof Annette L Combrink

Campus Rector Vaal Triangle

Prof Piet Prinsloo

Institutional Registrar

Prof Chris van der Walt

Institutional Director Finance and Facilities

Prof Johan Rost

Institutional Director Human Resources, Student Affairs, Research and Innovation

Prof Frikkie van Niekerk

Manager Corporate Communications

Mr Chris Windell (acting)

The Chancellor is dr Popo Molefe, former premier of the North West Province and the Chairperson of the NWU Council is Mr Litha Nyhonyha.

Vision statement 

To be a pre-eminent university in Africa, driven by the pursuit of knowledge and innovation.


To realise the vision, we will:
  • Position the North-West University as a value-driven university, striving to make a difference, through the pursuit of knowledge and innovation, and by being locally engaged, nationally relevant and internationally recognized.
  • Develop, educate and empower through quality teaching-learning well-rounded graduates able to think laterally and critically and to serve the country and all its people.
  • Produce high-quality, relevant and focussed research, basic as well as applied, supplying innovative solutions to challenges faced by the scholarly community, the country, the continent and the world.
  • Implement research results and expertise, both commercially and community-directed, for the benefit of the country, the continent and the world.
  • Aspire to be recognised internationally as a well-managed and innovative university, with a client focus and a quality focus, by creating an enabling environment that will enhance and improve its core business.
  • Create a financially viable institution able to transform continually to meet the country's social and economic needs.
  • Be sensitive to our environment and the country's social needs, and to promote sustainable development.


The North-West University celebrates the unity and oneness of a country that has 11 official languages and is made up of various cultures, backgrounds and belief systems. The University is developing one institutional culture and ethos, with room for variety in campus personalities, based on the unity and value system of the University. It embraces the country's diversity and proudly underwrite its credo: !ke e: /xarra //ke  meaning Diverse people unite'or Many people make one.
The NWU views transformation as being able to adapt to an ever-changing environment, both nationally and globally. Transformation means to be responsive to the needs of our country and the continent (including high-tech needs), to practise state of the art management in a globalised world, and to continuously improve quality. The Council and Management aims to develop an environment in which academics can focus on teaching-learning, research and implementation of their expertise to the benefit of communities and the country as a whole.

Transformation also means improved equity and various interventions are being implemented and planned to address this crucial issue. It is imperative that the face of the North-West University captures the South African identity through its student and staff demographics. The University is committed to employing the best staff whilst also applying employment equity principles. In addition, the University wants to ensure that all campuses remain viable and continue to be sustainable in terms of student numbers, programmes, quality and finances.

The North-West University strives to promote access to learning and opportunities for those students who have a good chance to succeed, while maintaining the highest standards and striving towards academic excellence.

The allocation of bursaries, funding projects and loans are looked at as a mechanism to make higher education accessible to students with potential. The NWU has been applying one set of admission requirements on all campuses with effect from January 2005.


To promote access, integration, a sense of belonging and to redress the language imbalances of the past, the North-West University strives to multilingualism, to celebrate the richness of a diverse society.


For tuition purposes, the Mafikeng Campus uses English and the Vaal Triangle Campus both Afrikaans and English. The Potchefstroom Campus uses Afrikaans as the medium of instruction at the undergraduate level, while access for non-Afrikaans speaking students are ensured in strategic programmes by simultaneous interpreting of Afrikaans classes (e.g. in Engineering, Pharmacy, Nursing and Theology). Off-campus programmes are offered in English.



The North-West University is driven by the values contained in the South African Constitution, especially human dignity, equality and freedom.

As a tertiary institution, we respect all perspectives and belief systems to ensure an environment for education, learning, research and community service. It also holds the values of integrity, a commitment to excellent scholarship, and academic freedom in high regard.


The North-West University staff are a diverse group of motivated people committed to excellence. The University understands that the level of excellence at the North-West University is only sustainable if it continues to invest in the highest quality staff, recognising that such staff expect to work for a top-quality organisation that will give them the opportunities to utilise their talents and to develop their careers. The NWU is committed to maintaining a collegial and open working environment where ideas are shared and people co-operate to achieve common goals. Equally, it recognises that it is important that all staff are valued for their individual contribution and are given the scope to develop their unique skills and talents during their careers.

Students on the Vaal Triangle Campus

In addition, all academic staff, as well as middle to senior support staff participate in an integrated performance management system, with appropriate incentives and rewards.

The North-West University believes that quality assurance and measurement should form the basis of all academic and managerial activities.

An internal quality manual serves as a handbook to assure quality conduct throughout the institution, both in academic and non-academic departments. The manual is proof of the conviction that quality happens where the job is done. Regular workshops on quality take place at our various campuses and at institutional level support and co-ordination take place and policies are developed at institutional level to ensure that all activities of the University comply with stakeholder quality requirements. The level of quality at the North-West University is continually being measured by both internal and external audits.

The North-West University aims to contribute to the community through quality research, engaging in innovative, problem-solving research that will improve the quality of life in South Africa and abroad. The University's research is based on modern and international standards, as acknowledged by various international research bodies. Research Focus Areas are regularly subjected to an international and national peer review and inter-disciplinary research is actively encouraged.

The North-West University recognises its role in the development of and capacity building in the communities around its campuses. We strive for excellent service delivery to communities who can contribute to the improvement of the quality of life for all in our country. Through community service our research and education take on a human face and spirit.

We have a multitude of purposeful development projects aimed at the empowerment of communities across the nation, for example:

  • The Ikateleng Project, which aims to improve the academic results of Grade 12 learners through additional classes in Science, Mathematics and English on the Mafikeng, Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle Campusses, thus bringing the learners'dream of a better life within their reach.

  • The Musikhane Project provides children from disadvantaged communities with the skills to bring to life the music inside them. They are taught to play various instruments and are given the opportunity to perform in an orchestra.

  • At the NWU we are passionate about the rights of our people. The University manages seven legal aid centres in the North-West, Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces. The I-legal Train renders legal advice to members of the community who could otherwise not afford it. This project, sponsored by Transnet, makes legal services available to different communities across the province. The train visits remote areas where legal services are not accessible to the poor.

  • The Farm Labourers, Agriculture and Health (FLAGH) project was implemented to enhance the living conditions of women farm labourers in the North-West Province. The women are taught to become economically independent by utilising their available resources. They are also sensitised in regard to their constitutional rights.

  • The HIV/AIDS Centre at the University provides support and training to staff and students. The Centre also offers free testing and counselling. It furthermore serves as co-ordinating body with regard to research on HIV/AIDS conducted by the University.

  • We are committed to improving the quality of education and have established a number of projects in collaboration with several partners, e.g.:

    • The Sediba Project, which aims to improve the quality of teaching in Science and Mathematics and which assists teachers in acquiring Higher Education Diplomas.

    • The Africa Drive Project in collaboration with the Department of Education in the North-West Province, SAPS and various other organisations, which seeks to alleviate the shortage of suitable qualified educators in Science, Mathematics and Technology; and

    • The Whole School Development Project, which is being implemented with the help of the National Business Initiative (NBI), and which aims to improve the quality of education in a number of schools around the various NWU campuses.


Institutional Head Office

North-West University
Building C1
53 Borcherd Street
Republic of South Africa (RSA)
Postal Address:
Private Bag X1290
Republic of South Africa (RSA)
Tel: +27 (18) 299-4897


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The Great Hall on the Mafikeng Campus


Institutional Head Office

North-West University

Building C1

53 Borcherd Street



Republic of South Africa (RSA)

Postal Address:

Private Bag X1290



Republic of South Africa (RSA)

Tel: +27 (18) 299-4897


Buildings on the Mankwe Site

The Vaal Triangle Campus are situated on the banks of the Vaal River

The library on the Mafikeng Campus

The Main Building on the Potchefstroom Campus